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Ficlet: Lullaby (Breaking Bad, Walter)

Title: Lullaby
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Breaking Bad, late season 3-ish
Rating: G
Word Count: 502 words
Summary: Walter rocks his daughter to sleep.

Notes: For the Good Night, Sleep Tight challenge at breaking_bad. I know I'm a bit of a fic machine lately. Summer break, ftw!

~0~0~0~0~0~



Walter White rocks back and forth, swaying in time with the lullaby playing softly from the CD player. The only other sounds are kitchen noises; Skyler is preparing dinner for herself and Walter Jr. He does not have time for dinner tonight – he is going out, after Holly is down for the night.

Holly likes a little quicker tempo than Walter Jr. did. If he stops before she is completely asleep, she will wake up and fuss and it will be another twenty minutes before she is settled.

Walter Jr. was an easy baby – just the sound of his mother's or father's steady heartbeat was enough to put him to sleep most nights.  He is not sure why Holly is different, other than the fact that no two children are alike. It could be something more disturbing, that she picked up the stress of her household in utero.  Walter's pulse beats faster now than when Walter Jr. was a baby, his reflexes are faster, his mind is faster – he must be faster in every way, to survive, to provide for this family he loves more than life. And Holly naturally picks up on it. This is the new normal.

He looks down at her small face, her eyelids fluttering as she fights the sleep she needs.  He doesn't want to leave tonight, doesn't want to deal with business. Every moment he can spend with her is precious. Who knows whether he will live long enough to see her take her first steps? To see her get on the bus for kindergarten? He has long since given up the thought of seeing her become a young woman. He dare not wish for more than this night, this moment.

He also knows that the moment he leaves the house his mind will be consumed with nothing but the machinations of meth dealing and manufacture. The mantel of Heisenburg will overtake him completely – as it must if he wants to spend another evening rocking his little baby girl to sleep.

Her eyes flutter for the last time, and he feels a sense of relief mixed with sadness. As gently as he can, he places her in her crib, waiting for a minute to see if she will stir. When she stays silent, except for the light sound of her breathing, he creeps from the room and shuts the door.

Walter stops at the entrance to the kitchen, keeping his distance as he waits to catch Skyler's eye. She only asks, "She's down?"

Walter nods. She goes back to cooking; their uneasy truce holds for another evening.

He squeezes Walter Jr.'s shoulder once at the table where he's doing homework. "See you later, sport."

Walter Jr. nods, distracted.  He's stopped asking either his mom or his dad about why Walter keeps such strange hours.

His last fatherly thought, as his car leaves the driveway, is simple: Stay safe. Then he goes to do the work of the wicked, to protect the sleep of the innocent.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
htbthomas
Jun. 11th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
Thank you! One of the things that breaks my heart is how much Walter loves his family, even though he's heading down a path of destruction. And I'm a sucker for parent-child stories, too. :)
pamalax
Jun. 11th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
So lovely and yet there is that unmistakable air of desperation and danger that is so breaking Bad. Very in the spirit my dear.

Quiet, gentle and beautifully simple on the outside with all the turmoil brewing just under the surface
Nicely done.

I love how a simple prompt can produce so fics in so many different directions. Thanks so much for taking part.

So far only yours and mine I look real forward to more BB fic rolling out each challenge and each day.
htbthomas
Jun. 11th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
I love that about Breaking Bad. The beautiful, silent New Mexico landscape, the quiet moments and cinematography -- and under all of it, turmoil, danger and violence. I'm so glad I captured that!

And you're welcome. I hope I can do something for more of the prompts. ♥
hungryhippo11
Jun. 13th, 2011 11:37 am (UTC)
Awww, that was a wonderful fic! You depict the underlying tension simmering beneath the surface of these domestic scenes so evocatively :)

Hope to see more BB fic from you in the future!

P.S. - Troy and Abed are LOVE *g*
htbthomas
Jun. 13th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I do hope to do more - hopefully a plot bunny will bite on the next challenge, too. :)

P.S. You are so right! They're my favorites.
hungryhippo11
Jun. 14th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
Cool!

P.S. Same! I'd love to spend time with Troy and Abed lounging around watching TV shows and cracking jokes :D

P.P.S. - Looking at your tags, we seem to have a fair few TV shows in common. Would it be remiss for me to friend you?
htbthomas
Jun. 14th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
That's pretty much what I do in fandom (other than write and mod), so yeah! ♥ And sure, I'll friend you now. I see we share Spider-Man. How much of a fan are you? Movies? Comics? Animated? All of the above? :D
hungryhippo11
Jun. 14th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
How much of a fan are you? Movies? Comics? Animated? All of the above? :D

Pretty much dabbled in all of the above at some point, yeah :)
htbthomas
Jun. 14th, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
Dabbled how? Fic? Discussion? Just enjoyed the source material? I'm always looking for Spidey friends, so I'm curious. :)

My involvement has been:

Movieverse: fanfiction, mostly post SM2
Comics: fanfiction; read avidly until One More Day; read Spider-Girl complete; only read Ultimate Spider-Man now
Animated: fanfiction and icons; huge fan of Spectacular Spider-Man, looking forward to the new USM cartoon in the Fall.
hungryhippo11
Jun. 14th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
I became a fan of Spiderman when I was younger, probably before the internets became mainstream, so I never did anything online. Just watched the animated series from 10-15 years ago and the films, and read some of the comics :)

I can't say I'm nearly as massive a fan as you are though. Wow!

Edited at 2011-06-14 04:07 am (UTC)
htbthomas
Jun. 14th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
And I'm not even the biggest Spider-Man fan I know! But yeah, I lovelovelove Spider-Man, though I'm unhappy with the comics' direction right now. I'm hoping the reboot movie and the new cartoon are faithful, and awesome. *fingers crossed*
hungryhippo11
Jun. 14th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
LOL! I imagine you wouldn't be either. Just dabbling in DW fandom for a while, I got a taste of the extreme side of things...and it was a bit much for my liking! :O

I hope the reboot movie and cartoon are canon and awesome too. I didn't actually know they were going to produce another cartoon. Chances are it'll be ages before it arrives here :P

I wasn't convinced about Andrew Garfield being cast as PP, but we'll see how that pans out.

On the Superman reboot front, couldn't be more pleased with Henry Cavill--I think he'll be great :)

Edited at 2011-06-14 04:58 am (UTC)
htbthomas
Jun. 14th, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
The new 'toon is a Disney/Marvel co-production. Do you guys get the Avengers 'toon? If so, I bet you'll get this one.

I wasn't convinced about Garfield, either, but after seeing The Social Network, I think he could pull it off. And Emma Stone is kickass, so I have hope.

As far as Henry Cavill, I think you're right! I'm going to Comic Con this year, so I'm going to both panels (if DC does a Man of Steel one). I'll be sure to report my thoughts!
hungryhippo11
Jun. 15th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
Having checked it out, we do actually! The turnaround time's pretty good, as it started early this year. It goes under subtitle Earth's Mightiest Heroes, doesn't it?

I haven't had a chance to see TSN, and I've been meaning to, so I'll reserve judgement till then. I'd only seen him in a UK series called Red Riding, so wasn't sure based on that performance. Emma's fab in Zombieland, so can't fault her :)

I got to catching up with The Tudors recently and having seen Cavill play his character Brandon out in that, he just had a real quiet dignity about him that fit Clark Kent/Superman. Before then I thought he suited looks-wise, but hadn't seen enough of him to have a view on his fit for the character.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on those panels! I've always wanted to go to Comic-Con at least once in my life--it's just being on the other side of the world, it involves a fair bit of co-ordination, knowing that I'd have to book tix well in advance.

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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